The Top 10 Leadership Mistakes

I have been actively involved in and studying the subject of leadership for 25 years.  Whether it is a church, school, business, non-profit, sports team, or your local home owners association, I have identified trends that cross all disciplines.  The following are the Top 10 mistakes I have witnessed leaders consistently make.

  1. Lack Of Character – The hardest person to lead is yourself.  Often, a leader’s talent, skill, and charisma will take them where their character cannot sustain them.
  2. Ignoring Self-Development – A lack of a personal growth plan results in leadership that is limited and unsustainable in an advancing culture.
  3. Positional Over Servant Leadership – Leaders often think their position or title means people are there to serve them.  This is a perverted view of leadership.  The position actually exists to serve the people.
  4. Self-Reliance – Great leaders build great teams.
  5. Greed Over Generosity – Leaders can become selfish and leverage their positions to gain influence, status, and wealth.  Leaders who last are the ones who create and enhance a culture of generosity.
  6. Minimizing The Next Generation – Leaders who view younger people as too inexperienced, too irresponsible, and too incapable of leadership do so at their own demise.  Few, if any, new thoughts or ideas come from people over the age of 45. 
  7. Not Properly Leveraging High Capacity Individuals – I see this often in church environments.  Pastors, if you do not know who your top givers are and are developing them, enlisting them, and leveraging their resources and intellect accordingly, you are greatly reducing the impact of your ministry.
  8. Resisting Change – “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”   General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.  There is nothing else needed to say.
  9. Neutralizing Mavericks – When someone doesn’t fit into your mold, that is probably a very good thing. These individuals take your organization into new areas of influence.
  10. Selecting New Over Fresh – Mobility is overrated.  The grass may look greener on the other side but that is often because it sits on top of a septic tank.  The best leaders have longevity and seek to make things fresh rather than quitting to seek different options.
  11. Bonus – Lack Of Inspiration – The world is dying for inspiration.

Does any of this list describe you or members of your team?  If so, just consider this a friendly nudge to push you in a positive direction.

What leadership mistakes did I miss that would have made your Top 10?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

7 Responses to “The Top 10 Leadership Mistakes”

  1. I’m studying for a degree in leadership and this is a great quick list of mistakes. I’m just starting to learn about all of this stuff, but this is a helpful list of what not to do.

  2. If I were to add one on the list, it would be no accountability. Leaders without accountability are more susceptible to make the above mistakes.

    For myself accountability has taught me to be humble, that I didn’t have all the answers, and to learn to listen to the voice of other leaders. Once I learned that lesson God had a whole lot more to say about moving forward and influencing others for Him.

  3. Brian, great post. You truly nailed this one. With your permission would love to use a few on the list for training!

  4. Selfless Service – Most leaders I know do not spend time getting to know their followers or taking additional time to be available for their followers. A good leader take the time to get to know their followers and spends additional time making sure they are inspired,motivated and empowered.

  5. NYC_CoachO This is a GREAT post!! ~~~> RT @BrianKDodd: The Top 10 Leadership Mistakes http://wp.me/pVReH-14r

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